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Old 07-21-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
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I've almost reached my breaking point. >.<
This is mostly a vent, but I could seriously use some moral support too.

I have 8 week old twins who spent 3.5 weeks in the NICU. Twin A had minor medical needs at birth, and nurses fine (with a shield). Well, he has a terrible gag reflex and chokes easily, but that's a problem for another day.

Twin B became stuck During delivery and suffered a stroke. He was on cooling protocol for 4 days, a vent for 5, and has struggled to keep up with his brother in coordination and feeding ability. He just doesn't latch, and when I allow him to become hungry to "motivate" him, he doesn't make progress. Instead he frantically and clumsily searches for my nipple, but fails to actually suck well and latch. He then gets hysterical. He just lacks the coordination :-(

Even with bottles, he's more of a "biter".

I know he isn't medically typical in this department, but I'm getting very frustrated.
I've now been pumping for 8.5 weeks, and twin A gets tons of bottles because, after spending so much time pumping, it's easier to just give him a bottle too.
DH is deployed, so the only help I get is my mother on days she doesn't work... She's great with the babies (and of course willing to help feed them) but she's just NOT helpful around the house. To the contrary- she's a total slob and causes more housework for me

I've almost reached the breaking.
To make matter worse, my supply hadn't increased with their needs. I produce 48-50ish ounces a day. Doesn't matter how much water, food, rest, and herbs I'm getting. It doesn't change - 1oz per breast, per hour.... So they now get 6ish ounces of formula a day, on top of the Bmilk.

Someone tell me it gets better, or that it's worth going on. If my family weren't so pro-BFing (not a single baby on my mothers side has been a formula baby), I'd have thrown the towel in.
I shower twice a week IF I'M LUCKY, live in my underwear, and am a mess. No PPD, thank God... But at every pumping session I can't help but fantasize about how nice it'd be to be mixing formula instead. I'm in breast milk hell.

Oh, and 90% of the clothes that currently fit me (I still have 15 baby pounds), are now stained with Bmilk. Nasty gross grease type stains that just won't come out.


Offer me encouraging words, please.... Because Walmart's formula isle is a 5 minute drive from here >.<

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Last edited by KatrinaLoves; 07-21-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:13 PM   #2
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Hugs hun. The only advice I have is to maybe pump one side while you're nursing twin A on the other. That might help increase your supply especially if you can wean him off the shield. Ds1 was in the nicu for 4wks and was about 2.5mo when he started latching without the shield.

Also there is nothing wrong with giving them formula. You gotta do what you gotta do. It doesn't mean you love them less. You can always keep pumping some bc a little breast milk is better than none.

You have nothing to feel bad about. You've worked really hard for your babies. At a certain point though you need to take care of yourself so that you can be the best mama you can be.
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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Re: Former NICU baby still won't latch

and more mama. I had to pump for DS2 when he was 2 days old... after a couple days of taking bottles, he wouldn't relatch. I worked with LCs and LLL for months on end, and he never would relatch . So, I can understand your frustration on that end. I ended up EP'ing for him for almost 16 months.

The best advice I can give you regarding him not latching is to not wait until he's hungry to try. Just as you've said, they get frantic and hysterical and even the best nurser can have trouble latching on at that point. The best time to try getting him latched is when he's almost asleep, or already asleep... and when he isn't hungry. His basic instincts are stronger then, and it may be easier to get him latched on. Have you worked with an IBCLC, or LLL group?

Of course, some babies who have received bottles will never relatch. Eating from a bottle requires a completely different "skill" than nursing from the breast. If that's the case, you can PM me anytime about pumping! I EP'ed for DS1 (6 months) and DS2 (almost 16 months, and he received my expressed milk for almost 21 months). I know how hard it can be, and how frustrating .

It sounds like you're doing everything possible to increase your milk supply. I know stress can also have an effect on it, and it sounds like you're under a lot of stress right now. Just keep nursing and pumping, drinking plenty of water, and eating enough calories... that's really all you can do right now. If you have to supplement with formula, there's nothing wrong with that! You're doing your best, and sometimes things don't always work out the way we want them to.

again, mama.
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:09 PM   #4
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So rough! My NICU baby refused to BF, and I gave up after 3 months. EPed til 6 months and gave that up too. We switched to formula, and while I desperately wanted to BF it just wasn't going to happen. Not trying to discourage you at all, just saying it's ok either way. You are nkt a failure if it doesn't work. I hope it gets better for you!!!!
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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Re: Former NICU baby still won't latch

Have you tried craniosacral therapy? If he is out of line at all then it could be painful or impossible for him to latch...I wonder if some of the trauma could make that worse (I have been told all babies are out of line after birth regardless of how their delivery goes).
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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Re: Former NICU baby still won't latch

Oh mama it will get better! I only had one so my hands were not quite as full as yours are, but DS had a TON of issues learning to breastfeed. Including using that biting thing instead of properly latching. It sucks big time, but it does get better. If you are interested in some tips to help with the nursing with your little biter boy feel free to PM me, I would love to help you out.

If you need to give them formula, do so with no issues. If you aren't able to nurse at the breast directly with strong suckling it is hard to have your supply keep up. As they get older, there is a good chance they will be better nursers and it will all start to resolve itself.

The breastmilk stains come out 99% of the time with Fels Naptha as a pretreater left overnight, and Tide. I learned this way too late, and walked around in stained clothes for quite some time.

You are military, is there other mamas you can get to come help you out at all? I know for one of the women on my hubbys boat who just had a baby we arranged meals to be taken, and people to go help her with her dog and do some housework since our guys are working insane hours.

Hang in there! You are doing a great job and these early days that are so stressful will pass before you know it. In a few months they will be able to play a bit and then you get to shower regularly
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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Re: Former NICU baby still won't latch

I EP'd for my twins for 15 months. YOU can do it!!


ETA: What kind of pump are you using? I used a Medela Symphony from birth. It was so great. I was FREEZING 60 oz a day from birth (in addition to what they were eating).

You can totally do it and you can do it without help!

Last edited by Brooke789; 07-21-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:06 PM   #8
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Can you do it...absolutely! Do you need to do this...no! Twins is a whole new world, and people who haven't had twins cannot understand the extreme difficulty that first year can be. I nursed my twins for 3 years, so although I am definitely pro BF, I am much more pro doing what works best for your family. It sounds like the stress of pumping and trying to teach the to latch, without your husband home for support, may not be what's best for your family. Only you can decide that. The more kids I've had, I'm at 4 boys, the more I've realized people should do what works best for their family. There are very few parenting things that are black and white!
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:49 PM   #9
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Re: Former NICU baby still won't latch

and ill be your cheerleader



Bfing one is hard enough i cant imagine 2. Hang in there mama and remb you need to try to have a few mins for you and destress. Get your mom to hold them and take a hot back and relax see if it doesnt help a little with your supply. What ever you decide you are a great mama and a lot would have already given up.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:50 PM   #10
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Re: Former NICU baby still won't latch

Also wanted to add Bfing is not all or nothing. Even if you are only have their nutrition they are still getting SO much that matters from you.
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